Archives for December 2011

A Sweet Gingerbread House

Okay, I’ll confess… the gingerbread house isn’t the sweetest thing in this post…it’s my sweet, sweet grandson, Connor.

He made his first gingerbread house when he came for a visit and I (Nana) got to ooooo and ahhhhh over how darn cute he was and what a great job he did!

Karen, his mom mixed up the gingerbread (see recipe below), rolled it out, cut it out, baked it, made the frosting (see recipe below) and put the house together for Connor to decorate.

I’ve made gingerbread houses before and they didn’t turn out this well.  This recipe is a great recipe!

Okay…here is when the really sweet part begins!!!

Connor will be 2 in January and he has never had candy before.  When we put the bags of candy in front of him, he had no idea what it was.

When his Mom, Karen, (my wonderful d-in-law) put the gingerbread house in front of him, Connor knew we were going to have some fun.

Mom gave Connor instructions and Connor caught on very quickly!

The sweetest little fingers you ever did see!

He also caught on real quick, if you put the candy in your mouth it tasted really good!

After Connor placed a candy onto the house…

We would clap for him.  Pretty soon, he caught on and would clap too!

He is working very hard to make his sweet little house beautiful!

TADA!!!!! Good job Connor!


Gingerbread Recipe

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup light molasses or dark corn syrup
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons water

Cream everything together except the flour until well blended and smooth. Slowly add flour and mix together. Place in fridge for around 30 minutes until dough is stiff.

Roll out dough and cut into piece for the house.
I used the Wilton gingerbread house cookie cutters that I found at Michaels. But you could cut your own piece with a knife if you wish. Do not seperate out the pieces of the house from the excess gingerbread. Bake at 375 for about 15 minutes until dough is firm. I overbaked mine until they were stiff so it would be easier to put together.

Trim around pattern of house again and separate the pieces from the rest of the dough.
Let cool completely.

Make royal icing.

To attach the house pieces together use the royal icing with egg white.

2 cups powdered sugar
1 large egg white
1 teaspoon almond or vanilla

Make the royal icing recipe again minus the egg white for decorating. This will allow the icing to be safe to eat in case any kids want to take a few licks 🙂:)


Welcome to Link Party #13 – “Turning the Daunting Into the Do-able”

Are you ready for another awesome party?  I can’t wait to see what you all have this week.

If you missed the Highlights from Link Party #12, please click HERE.
Just a few rules:
1.  No Etsy, Businesses, or Giveaways.
2.  I’d love it if you became a follower.
3.  Please grab a button and post it somewhere in your post.
4.  Visit at least 2 other people who have joined a party.  Leave a nice comment for them.  We all love comments and feedback.
Most of us have the Site Stats now on our blogs.  We can see who visits and I’m amazed at how many visitors I get, but no feedback.  It’s a bummer people.  Let’s start encouraging one another and leave a comment.  It only takes a minute.

Here we go…



Link Party #12 Highlights – “Turning the Daunting Into the Do-able”

I hope that everyone is hanging in there and ENJOYING this crazy time of year.  We sometimes forget to do that don’t we?  I’m amazed at how the “crafter” part of us just goes crazy come November. We just can’t help ourselves, can we?   This  month is like CRAFTING on TESTOSTERONE!  By the way, what the heck are we going to do and talk about come January?  You’re going to tell me “organization” and “resolutions” aren’t you? Ugh.

We had 113 of you link up your amazing projects this week!   I love hostessing the parties, but it is soooo hard for me to pick the highlights.  This week I tried to pick some things that weren’t about Christmas and I also tried to choose some bloggers that I have never highlighted before.  Oh, and I also picked 10 because I couldn’t just pick 6!!!! I told you it was hard for me!

So first up we have this adorable Mitten Pillow that Emily from Domestic Deadline made.

Is this pillow the CUTEST???
I’ve already copied the directions and will be making it next year.


Kim from Made In A Day shared her Snowy Christmas Trees.

I love the way they look.  Kim sprays them with glitter so they glisten like snow.
I bet they are fabulous in “real life”!  You need to head over to her blog.  The
picture of her Christmas tree is beautiful!

I’m lovin’ this simple  Holiday Tray that Megan from A Lived In Home shared.

All she did was glue a piece of scrapbook paper to the bottom of the tray.  It just POPS with color and makes
the tray look so festive.  Lots of possibilities here folks!  These trays are a dime a dozen at thrift stores.


Kimberly from BK Tribe made this awesome Name Plaque.

Wouldn’t this be a great wedding gift or baby gift?  This is going on my “to do” list!

These little Rudolph the Reindeer Cake Pops that Kirsten from The Sweet Swiper made just makes me smile!

The are so darn cute! Are you smiling????? 🙂

This Minky Rag Quilt that Katie made from The Crafty Blog Stalker looks so soft.

She made this for her daughter and I love the colors that she chose.
Another project on my “to do list”!

Evie from Brown Paper Packages made these sweet little Lollipop Ornaments with clay she purchased at the Dollar Store.

I would love to have a “candy tree” up all year round.  Don’t you think that would be a great idea??? My hubby would hate it.
Evie has a great tutorial on how to make these. What a fun project!

Melissa from Faithful Melissa made these yummy Sugared Vanilla Cinnamon Almonds.

These would be so pretty in a gift jar and it’s a bit healthier than cookies right?
Nuts = Protein!


Maury from Life On Mars made this for her husband for Christmas.  Isn’t it sweet????

Shhhhh…I’m going to make one for my hubby too.
I’ve already been having some fun with what I’m going to put on mine!
I like the way her letters turned out.

I practically begged Emily from 52 Mantels to link this up…. didn’t I Emily????

If I had this I might keep it up all year long.  It makes me HAPPY to look at it!!!

Did any of them inspire you to be a copy cat or give you any of your own ideas??

I definitely am inspired….I need to get busy!!!!!

If you were featured, please feel free to grab a “featured” button in the right hand column.

Are you ready to link up to a new party?

How about CLICKING HERE to link up to:

“Turning the Daunting Into the Do-able”
Link Party #13!


Christmas Kitty

The tree is all decorated and so far so good… Tux has not gotten INTO it… he does hang out UNDER it though.  You can see the reason I didn’t get to decorate the tree last year if you click HERE.

Here it is with no kitty and no gifts under it.  The gifts are all purchased, I’ll have to take a day and wrap, wrap, wrap.  It’s supposed to rain on Wednesday so I’m thinking that will be a good day to turn on some Christmas music and pretend it’s snowing outside :-).

Did you notice the wonky star on top? This tree has a pathetic little “nub”!  I get it straight and then I put the ladder away and look back up and it’s crooked again!!! Guess what? It’s gonna stay that way.  I told my family not to look at it and I don’t want to talk about it.  If they want to get the ladder out every 10 minutes AND THEN PUT IT AWAY.  Go for it.

Here’s a few up close and personals…just because.

I purchased these icicles a few years ago at Costco.  They are glass and they are beautiful on the tree!  They just sparkle…of course a picture never does the “sparkle” part justice.

Tux has decided he’s going to be a good boy this year with the tree.

He is so big this year that I think if he did try to climb up into it, he would knock it right over!

BUT, guess what he has done TWICE this week?

He’s brought mice into the house!  Thursday night I heard him come in the doggie door, and out of the corner of my eye I saw him go around the corner.  I thought he had something in his mouth, but I couldn’t tell… next thing you know my daughter comes screaming out of her room (she is the one that rescued Tux as a tiny kitten…less than 1 lb!) that there was a mouse on her curtain!  It took my husband almost an hour to catch the mouse (it ended up being a Norwegian Rat…at least they are kinda cute) and turn it loose outside.  Tux and Mia both helped round it up.

Then last night, he came in, went straight under the tree and plopped a live mouse down.  Then chased it all over having a great time.  He seriously thinks these little guys are toys.  He is bringing us Christmas gifts! ha!  My husband is getting very good at catching these little critters and tossing them out front….ALIVE.  My daughter would freak if he killed them.  Ugh.

I have to say that Tux keeps our lives very interesting.

It’s a good thing he’s cute.

Come on back tomorrow evening…I’ll have Highlights posted from “Turning the Daunting Into the Do-able” Link Party #12… and another new party will begin….


Breakfast At Tiffany’s

One of my MOST favorite things to do in the morning is get a nice, fresh, hot cup of coffee, slip my glasses on (because I can’t see a darned thing up close anymore) and BLOG STALK! What’s this you say?  It’s clicking on a blog, that takes you to another blog, and so on…sometimes I get so deep in “clicking other blogs” that I don’t even know the blog I started from!!! I could sit for hours and do this…kinda like Pinterest :).

This morning, I came upon a crazy quilt that I was mesmerized with and I just had to show it to you..WARNING: No Christmas Theme Here…. Just a whole lotta lovely Tiffany Blue.  Tiffany?  Are you thinking Audrey Hepburn? Breakfast at Tiffany’s? Diamonds? New York?

Now, check out this amazing work of art by Susan from Plays With Needles .

Susan Elliott 2011


Absolutely amazing.  Susan’s project was 3 years in the making.  She has such wonderful “story book” posts that go along with her artwork from reading the book, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” to visiting Tiffany’s in New York.  She even beaded in an heirloom that reminds her of her mother.
So, while you are waking up this morning and getting that coffee or tea on board you have to take a walk over to read Susan’s story that inspired her to create this beautiful work of art.
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Christmas Link Party List

I’ve started a list of Christmas Link Parties that I’m linking up to or following.
Thought I’d share with you.
If you would like me to add a party to the list, please let me know in the comments section.
The list is not in any particular order and it’s definitely not fancy the way I’ve added them!

holiday open house button

Cherished Bliss

 Creating Christmas at The Girl Creative

Unskinny Boppy

The DIY Club


Simply Christmas

Maymay Made It

My World Made by Hand


Christmas Gifts and Ornaments for $10 or Less – Highlights #4

We had some great projects shared this week! My head is swimmin’ with all the Christmas crafts that I’ve seen in Blog Land!

Where has the time gone? I cannot believe that this is our last highlight for the Christmas Blog Party that Bonnie from A Wee Meenit and I have been hosting.  I hope all of you have been inspired and have gotten some good ideas.  I know that Bonnie and I have.

My first choice is the Nativity Block that Brook from Babblings and More made.

I love this Silhouette  Nativity Scene.
It reminds me of what Christmas is really all about.

My 2nd choice is Artsy VaVa’s sweet Cupcake Ornament.

She estimated that these cute ornaments cost about $2 each to make.
They look complicated to make, but they aren’t!

My 3rd choice is this Ice Skate Swag that Bonnie from A Wee Meenit made.
I love the colors that she used.
So crisp, fresh and clean looking on her front door.
Bonnie’s ice skate swag needed to be one of the highlights even though she
is hosting this party!

Wonderful job ladies!!

 Next is Bonnie with her highlight choices…

So here we are, Highlights for the last Christmas Blog Hop!
I can’t believe the Blog Hop is over!
I want to personally thank Mandy from Project Queen for being my partner in this link party.
She has been so helpful to me as this was my first venture into Link Party’s.
First up is a beautiful Wreath from Tales of a Trophy Wife.
I love that you only need fabric, a glue gun and some upholstery tacks. I plan on trying this wreath
around Valentines day.  I can imagine the fun fabrics even now!
Next I chose Miniatures in a Jar from Salt Tree.
I have always loved snow globes, but I find that they are a little boring unless the snow is
blowing around. I love the idea of a snow globe that actually lights up! She gives a great step by step that looks so easy to duplicate!
And lastly I chose the Dollar Store Wreath from Everything has a Place.
She bought 5 packs of silver ball ornaments and 2 rolls of ribbon for a total of $7
and I think this wreath looks like a million bucks!

A BIG thank you to all of you who have been with Bonnie and I
for the past month faithfully linking  your projects to our Christmas Party.

Bonnie, thank you for hosting this blog hop with me.

Wishing all of you and your families a wonderful, safe and blessed Christmas!

If you are looking for “Turning the Daunting Into the Do-able” #12 Link Party,


Welcome to Link Party #12 – “Turning the Daunting Into the Do-able”

Can’t wait to see what ya’ll have got this week!  Let’s share and inspire each other!

If you missed the highlights from Link Party #11, please CLICK HERE.


Ready for Link Party #12?

Let the party begin…


Link Party #11 Highlights -” Turning the Daunting Into the Do-able”

Yikes! So sorry I’m late with these highlights!!! Crazy day I had today.  But the Christmas tree is decorated!  Yahoo!

Here are some awesome and amazing inspirations from Link Party #11!

Catherine from Freddy and Petunia made this headboard from a mirror that had broken!

Catherine, what can I say.  You are simply amazing!!!!
By the sound of Catherine’s post…I think she is keeping this one!
Do you blame her????

Sunni from Love Affair With My Brother (as in her sewing machine) made this incredible flower pillow.

I love this!
Sunni has a pretty clear tutorial on how to make this.
I might just give this one a try and fall in love with my brother…errr I mean my

These Drab to Fab Ornaments were shared by Inspired By Family Magazine

What a great way to recycle those old ornaments and make them new again.
I love the reindeer!


Shari from Turnstyle Vogue was inspired and turned an old lamp into a Pottern Barn Knockoff.

Check out Shari’s post and see how much this looks like the real thing!

Randee from Randee’s Organized Chaos shared some Pros Tips for Perfect Arrangements.

So cute!
Wait until you see her secret!  Better head on over to her blog and check it out.


Katie from Sweet Girl Expressions  made these Vintage Looking Pedestals.

I absolutely love these.  Aren’t they great?
Katie gave a whole new look to those old pie pans that my grandmother used to feed the dogs with.


Alexandra from Talking Dollars and Cents shares a sinful recipe for Chocoholic Yum Cake.

Yum is right! I wrote this recipe down and plan on making it to a dinner we are going to.
I love chocolate.  YUMMMM!

Thanks ladies so much for sharing with us this week.  Please grab a “featured button” if you were featured :-).


Thrifting and What Is This?

I hope that everyone had a wonderful weekend.  My Christmas boxes are down (hubby counted them…16!)

I woke up this morning at 2:30am.  A million projects going through my mind (and of course I’m blogging all of it in my head…does anyone else do this???), finally got up at 4:45am!

I have so many projects going on.  Decorating, making a new bulletin board for over my desk, spray painting a bazillion things, finishing up the grout in the bathroom, making curtains for the bathroom and laundry room, AND painting the new buffet that we are making into a media center.  PLUS, working on a customer’s chalk board and a shelf..I don’t have time to sleep!!!!

Now that I have my disclaimer out there, you know why I’m a crazy person :-).

I had a great thrift day on Friday!

Good stuff huh?
I’m loving my frames!

My little file box that I will spray paint black.

I’m obsessed with these sconces.  I need to stop.

Book Ends!

I love the colors in this plate.  The green is perfect.
My plan? A big “W” on it!

A customer needed a 24×36 frame made before Christmas.
I found this 24×44 frame thinking, if it’s too big I have the perfect spot for it.
Well, it was perfect for her too. Darn.

My little Christmas tree $3.95.  It spins and plays, “I Wish You A Merry Christmas”

Here is MY FIND!!!! This silver punch bowl is HUGE!!!!!

Weighs about 10 lbs.  They had just brought it out and I snagged it.
Everyone in line was jealous :-).
Of course, that made the deal even sweeeeeter.

Grape leaves up close.

Ladle came with it.

Yup, that was the price.

Here is the question.  What the heck are these?

This sets on the top of the bowl.
I’m thinking it holds bottles so you can use the punch bowl as an ice bucket?
Anyone know?